Tag Archives: State Design

Behind the Title: State Design ECD/Owner Marcel Ziul

NAME: Marcel Ziul

COMPANY: Los Angeles-based State Design

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We’re a design, animation and live-action production company. We’re on the small-ish side. Some fancier people might call us a “boutique.” We just like taking on a few select projects at a time.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
I’m the Executive Creative Director and Owner.

STATE_01WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Being the owner, I used to handle quite a bit of our business affairs, but now I mainly direct and oversee projects that come in our doors on a creative level. Along with a great team of artists and producers, I help ensure that our clients’ creative visions are fulfilled and surpassed.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Probably the balancing act of being an owner and creative director. It’s sometimes tough to separate the two. Early on, I used to be bogged down by business dealings during the day and then focused on creative after business hours. That was unacceptable.

In the last two years, we’ve grown up as a company, and I’ve hired the right staff to handle the majority of the business, so now I can focus primarily on the creative and strategy of the studio.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Working with a client that truly enjoys collaborating. When you’re in sync with your client it’s no longer just work, it’s fun. Also, I really enjoy working directly with my team of creatives. Our 3D lead Mauro Borba, for example, is always really excited about the projects, and his leadership makes my job more rewarding and creative.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
The opposite of the above answer!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
When I have time to only focus on the creative direction and how to improve upon the projects we are currently working on. Most of the time, this is when I’m alone at the studio in the early morning or late evening.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I’d open a coffee store and probably drink coffee all day long. I also love cycling. That said, a bike shop wouldn’t be a bad idea either. But these are just entertaining thoughts. In reality, I wouldn’t do anything different than what I’m doing now.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
It’s actually because of my dad. One of his best friends had a production company and he thought it would be a good opportunity for me to intern there. I was 18 years old at the time. To me, it was the most amazing thing ever. From there, I went straight to college where I graduated with a degree in advertising.

FIFACAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
Our recent work includes the History of FIFA Women’s World Cup web spot for Fox Sports, the “No Brainer” co-branded commercial campaign for IFC, and a beautifully animated commercial called Veteran’s Day for Syfy.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
That’s hard to say because I’m proud of all our collaborations. As of today, I’d say it’s our self-initiated spot called “Statement.” It hits home for me because it’s kind of a culmination of my life’s work up to this point.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
iPhone, Nespresso Machine and my Fuji XT-1.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
I love Instagram, but I also follow Facebook and Vimeo.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK? CARE TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO?
Of course! Anything by Sepultura and Queens of the Stone Age to Apparat and Moderat.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
Besides cycling, I enjoying relaxing with my family and friends, going to concerts and watching UFC and soccer.

Design and animation boutique State opens in Santa Monica

Creative director Marcel Ziul and executive producer Joe Nash recently opened a boutique design and animation studio in Santa Monica called State Design. Busy out of the gate, the studio has already provided an animated graphics package for the NFL Network’s 2014 NFL Draft coverage, and an animated Brazilian-market spot for Ecological Corredor to coincide with the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

“Marcel and I have worked together over the years, and it became clear over time that we both wanted a place where we could focus on what we do best: delivering great creative that’s not about being bigger, but being better,” explains Nash. “Our business model is built around more direct involvement from the creative director and executive producer. We want to give people the same personal connection that we look for in our own work, which is why we’ll only take on a limited amount of projects — each client receives the hands-on attention he/she deserves.”

STATE_MarcelZiul_sm STATE_JoeNash_sm

L-R: Marcel Ziul and Joe Nash.

The meaning behind the name? According to Ziul, “We always ask ourselves and our clients, ‘What is your state? What does your brand’s state look like and how do you want to make a statement?’ Our name envelops all of these ideas. More importantly, we see ourselves as an extension of our clients — a special forces unit that is highly trained and precise in communicating their ideas through design and animation.”

Nash brings both network and agency experience to State Design. As a producer at the NFL Network, he worked on many show graphics packages. At Troika Design Group, he contributed to identity packages for ESPN, DirecTV and Canal+. Prior to that, he rose through the associate ranks to producer at Versus/NBC Sports, coordinating and producing all on-air graphics for the network.

Ziul has worked as creative director/art director at studios in Brazil and the US, including Conspiracao Films, Mixer Group and Belief Design. As a freelancer, he has contributed his talents to Prologue Films, Stardust, Zoic Studios, Troika, Shilo, Apple, MAL/TBWA and Bigstar, where he was an art director/lead animator on the Silver PromaxBDA Award-honored Bio Channel rebrand. Ziul’s also has an Emmy nod to his name for the Dr. Phil graphics package.